If the Celtics deal with the Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving doesn’t get done, the Milwaukee Bucks are apparently lurking with an offer.
The health of Isaiah Thomas’ hip is holding up the deal that will send Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics, and now with less than 24 hours to finalize the deal it’s crunch time. The Celtics may be willing to send another draft pick to Cleveland to complete the trade and reduce the risk attached to Thomas’ future health, but as of right now Irving is still theoretically available to other teams.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, if the Cavaliers back out of the deal with Boston, the Milwaukee Bucks are ready with an offer for Irving. Milwaukee’s offer would center around reigning Rookie of Year Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton, with a first-round pick also possibly being put on the table if that’s what it takes to get the trade done. Irving’s interest in committing to the Bucks long-term is also a factor, but that can be worked out later if need be.
Brogdon averaged 10.2 points, 4.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game last season, coming out of nowhere after being a second-round pick to become the league’s top rookie in an admittedly thin year for candidates. Middleton missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury, but he averaged 14.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game while make over 43 percent of his three pointers in 29 regular season games.
A duo of Irving and Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee would be interesting, and perhaps vault the Bucks into the top half of the Eastern Conference this coming season. Losing Middleton is not ideal, especially with Jabari Parker working his way back from a second torn ACL eyeing a midseason return. But Irving is a clear upgrade over Brogdon at point guard. Going all in, relatively, to get the best player in a trade is rarely a bad move and the Bucks seem ready to swoop in and get Irving if they can.